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Comcast Could Be Your Next Mobile Provider

Mari Silbey
7/14/2016
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Lest anyone still had doubts, Comcast has confirmed its mobile ambitions with the formation of a new mobile business division headed by long-time Comcast executive Greg Butz. A report of the new business arrangement was first published by Multichannel News and has since been confirmed by Comcast.

The fact that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is formalizing its commitment to mobile services is equivalent to the company drawing up a big "Telcos Beware" sign. While Comcast has built out a substantial WiFi network in recent years, it still doesn't come close to offering the level of wireless coverage that any of the major carriers can deliver. That said, the cable company has been putting the right assets in place to expand its wireless footprint radically.


For more on cable technology and wireless network trends, visit the dedicated cable channel here at Light Reading.


First, Comcast has activated its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). (See Comcast Confirms It Will Activate MVNO Deal.)

Second, it has committed to participating in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's broadcast spectrum auction. (See Comcast May Be Lone MSO Wireless Bidder.)

Third, Comcast has continued to build out more and more fiber to complement and strengthen its already widespread hybrid fiber-coaxial last-mile infrastructure. The possible purchase of Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) assets would further support that network growth and position Comcast well for supporting future 5G mobile services. As Light Reading Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre points out, fixed broadband networks are critical for 5G development and deployment. (See Is Level 3 Boarding the M&A Train? and Beware the Bottleneck! Why 5G Is Driving an Ultra-Broadband Boom.)

Analyst Francis McInerney of North River Ventures may have said it best when addressing a wireless crowd back in April: "If you aren't thinking about Comcast, leave this industry." (See Analysts More Than Bullish on Comcast MVNO.)

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

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lanbrown
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lanbrown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/14/2016 | 1:20:47 PM
Not for me
They definitely won't be my provider that is a guarantee.  Whenever I moved someplace that Comcast was the only provider, I dreaded it.  Everything about the company is just awful and I had stock with them.  Their customer support was and most likely still is useless.  Their technicians are anything but.  They needed to put an amplifier in the house to fix some issues and that never sat right with me.  Homes down the road didn't need one and they were further away from the Comcast equipment.  It took me about 30 minutes to figure out what was actually causing the issue.  First their three-way splitter just needed to be a two-way as that third connection that said went to a room didn't go anywhere except to the outside of the house where they cut the cable off long ago.  The room they thought was being fed by that feed was actually fed from another room with a splitter in the wall.  When their technicians take shortcuts rather than doing a proper job; that is when you really know that no one really cares there.

 

If Comcast really cared, their technicians would all be outfitted with the appropriate test gear.  There are many test sets that will tell you lengths of cable, where the splitters are, etc.  If they had these, it would have taken the guess work out of the entire thing.  Are those test sets expensive?  Absolutely, but there is benefits to using them.  First is that it takes guesswork out of some troubleshooting and more importantly, it increases the fix it right and on the first visit.  Having to send someone back out isn't free and it just aggravates the customer to keep having to deal with an issue that the provider isn't fixing.

 

Some have said that Comcast has gotten better.  My opinion there is that is only because they wanted to do an M&A.  A company that is dedicated to provider service and support would always be providing service and support, not just when they want something.
FbytF
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FbytF,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/18/2016 | 11:24:28 AM
Re: Not for me
I 100% agree, it's puzzling how this POS stays in business, must be the captive audience. Once they enter the wireless space and face real competition they'll be exposed for the crappy company they really are. This country can't really support the four major wireless carriers it already has, what makes Comcast think they can win in a crowded market with their reputation?
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